LGMA COP28 intervention at High-Level Climate Champions Nature Ambition Loop Dialogue

Baniko Baaro, Mayor of Teinainano Urban Council, Tarawa Island, Kiribati; and Councillor Alison Gilliland of Dublin, Ireland

Friday 8 December 2023

Mayor Baaro

I will start by making a very important connection, ie. the climate and nature crises are undeniably linked. We would be failing in all our endeavours, including what we advocating for here at the Dubai COP, unless we tackle the climate and nature crises together.

The value of ecosystems, be it the oceans or on land, is well known. Our communities have come to rely on goods and services of these ecosystems for our sheer existence. In fact, I-Kiribati people are not only physically dependant on, but are also spiritually connected to both

the Sea and Land. Our deep connection with nature defines us a People. With the threat of climate change, we therefore stand to lose our identity, sustenance for our survival, and the many benefits we rely on nature.

Many indigenous communities around the world would be able to relate to this.

I urge local governments to therefore integrate nature in their climate policies as an immediate priority. This must include defining science-based targets for green and blue spaces in line with the Sharm el Sheik Adaptation agenda.

Also, in keeping with our advocacy for the multi-level governance over the last week or so, local biodiversity targets and actions must also be integrated into NDCs.

As local councils are required to increase investment in nature and restoring our ecosystems, we have to think about innovative financing instruments and mechanisms to achieve multi-level partnerships. For these reasons, the TUC has decided to be part of the CitiesWithNature program and I urge other Mayors, Governors and Subnational leaders to do the same. We have done so to be part of a global network to commit, report, share lessons and learn from each other. Beyond this, Small island development states like ours, are reliant on multi-level partnerships with state and private actors to meet our nature ambitions.

Councillor Gilliland

Thank you for the Local Climate Action Summit – this is something we would like to see formally incorporated into each COP

Thank you for launching the CHAMP initiative – real opportunity for local voices and their work to be included in the revision of the NDCs and we hope to see all Parties sign up to it

You mentioned the need to invest in business – we agree that business is a key partner in our collective vision for climate change but we also need investment in capacity building at local government level. We often lack the expertise to engage with business, technology and innovation as we are unsure what approaches work best  especially when it comes to nature-based solutions – we need to avoid maladaptation.

Why is it important that formal inclusion of multi-level governments are included in the language of the text – it gives us legitimacy in the climate action decision making process, it allows us to legitimately insist on engagement with our national governments 

Regardless of what happens we are consistently on the ground working with our local communities  building resiliences, raising awareness, implementing mitigation and adaptation measures and sadly cleaning up after extreme climate events.